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4x8 ft layout ideas

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4x8 ft layout ideas
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 5:05 PM
Hi, I currently have a 4x6 layout and am looking to expand it. Does anybody know of any websites that have 4x8 layouts?
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 9:04 PM
Hmm. better off to use a book such as "101 Track planning ideas" you can use a double track with 22" for outside and 18" for inside radius track.

Perhaps a single track with 22" and a passing siding and a yard or industries to switch.

But double track will not accomodate too much of large equiptment in 4X8.

Good Luck and let us know what you find.

Lee
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 7:27 AM
Double main on a 4x8 in HO is really tight... If you're in N, you'll have a lot more room. Try www.gatewaynmra.org for some interesting small layouts with switching and continuous run. I don't think that any of them are double mains though...

Andrew
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 8:40 PM
Thanks for your advice and the web address.[:)]
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Posted by seacoast on Sunday, October 19, 2003 1:14 PM
Yes I agree your better off with N Scale for a 4'x8' foot space.
NMRA has tons of N scale web pages with ideas bigger and
smaller other ideas would be Kalmbach books for track plan ideas.
George
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Posted by dknelson on Monday, October 20, 2003 8:02 AM
Tony Koester has long advised taking that 4x8 or 4x6 board and cutting it into two foot wide strips and make a point to point with it. Check out the last several years' worth of Model Railroad Planning magazine for ideas.
Dave Nelson
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 20, 2003 10:52 AM
I'd agree with that - 1ft deep boards placed around the walls of a room (use ready-made shelf uprights and brackets for support) leaves a lot of space free - handy if like me your train room is also occasionally used as a guest room! Twin track mainline is possible on a 1ft board, looks ok, just not much room for scenery, but then again I'm better at modelling the trains than the scenery, so this suits me perfectly!
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 20, 2003 11:50 AM
Most public libraries have decades worth of books on track planning, mostly from Kalmbach but some of the old Carstens (Railroad Model Craftsman) publications, as well. The vast majority of layouts are small.

One suggestion to anyone contemplating a 4 X 8 layout : you can get a lot more scenery and have much smoother operation if you expand to 5 X 8 or 6 X 8. I have found that most spaces that will hold a 4 X 8 will accomodate a slightly larger layout and it is well worth the effort.

John
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 11:16 AM
I'd huess this is a first layout, or you are early in your model railroading "career"

My advice is keep it simple. Some track plans are ridiculous with loops and sidings and cross overs. Are you really happy with your work so far? Consider this... in the room you have, you could build a new layout on a hollow-core door that is 40" x 8'. The benefit is you get a nice solid layout base for about $25 and it is very light and sturdy. Your benefit is you get a fresh start to fix all the things you don't like about your current layout. Maybe try out flex track, if you haven't. Try a different scenery this time. But keep it simple. Maybe one or two sidings and a passing siding. Concentrate on making it look real and professional and not like a "spaghetti bowl" of track. Your trains will look more natural and you will be happy. I promise. If you need help with some plans, I'd be happy to help. Give me a shout.
Mike
mrector@columbus.rr.com
home.columbus.rr.com/miketrac/model_trains.html
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 23, 2003 12:11 AM
I'm currently working up a 4 X 8 foot table in HO. People are correct that the layout is a challenge for use of space. Consider if your going up an incline with any realism your thinking max of 3% and that means you won't get 3 inches in your whole eight foot run... thus you'd have to drop your other line to clear under it.

Moreover the curves may not be realistic if your into that.

That being said, I have run a 18" circle oval (with a strait run of about 18" left center as one track, and an outer circle oval with the same curves, but with a strait 9" run in the middle of the curves, while the runs of strait track go about 54" the outer circle has one turn off that leads to another split (for a train station and single stall engine yard)

The trick with this is in working up a decent mountian in the background with a castle planned for the top, a water fall to river that two tressle bridges must span... and a small village in a ruffly 1 1/2 foot x 3 foot area in the middle of the table. The mountain should suit a mining (coal?) operation and our table has plans even for a small table leaf shooting off with a dock and steamship.

I'm of the mindset it's not a matter of "can't" anything, more a matter of trying to match your personal goals with the space you have, doing the best with what you have.

Likely my set-up would anger rivit counters as the bends are tight, the trains don't match a specific era, and honestly lots of the houses are ceramic dollar store finds... still, it serves my goals.
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Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, October 23, 2003 10:31 AM
One of the best small railroads I have ever seen was published in the early 50's. I think it was also published in book from and was called, "The HO railroad that Grows". It started as a 4x8 and grew with an extension on one side and one end as I remember. It was continuous run but had quite a lot of scenery and could be done in stages. It offered a lot for the size and space limitations.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 27, 2003 2:52 AM
Here are a couple of places to look:

http://www.modeltrainguide.com/trackplans.php
http://www.thortrains.net/index.html


Atlas have several books on layout planning, too.

I would like to offer some free advice. I'm about to tear down my 4x8 sheet of plywood after eight months in the hobby. It's too small for HO, so if you are limited to that space, go with N Scale.

A 4x8 sheet of plywood has some real limitations:

#8212; the maximum radius turn is 22", which is too tight for passenger cars, some of the longer newer freight cars, and some locomotives, especially steam locomotives or some newer large diesels. A Budd car (RDC) won't run through an 18" curve without a lot of complaining. Through a 22" curve it has a huge overhang.

#8212; 4x8 doesn't allow enough area to do much beyond a simple oval or folded dogbone. Attempting to run a double track makes it much worse.

#8212; You won't be able to include any kind of functional yard within the interior of your oval.. A yard with 4' sidings needs 10 or 12 feet to work properly, once you include the length of the turnouts and the switch leads.

For these reasons, I am not satisfied with my 4x8 plywood sheet. No big deal #8212; it was my first effort, I learned a lot from it, and can move on quite a bit wiser. My new layout will still incorporate a sheet of plywood, but it will be in one corner of the room and the trains will run from there on 24" shelves along two walls.

i would suggest that you not make anything too permanent for the first six months. If you are satisfied with your layout after that time, nail everything down and commence with scenery. My hunch is that you will be looking for more real estate.

Cheers

Scott Fraser
Calgary, Alberta
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 7:43 PM
Thanks everybody. I found this layout.

http://www.thortrains.net/4holay4.html
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 2, 2003 4:29 PM
I have a 4X9 foot layout with 22" radius curves for main line. I added a second level using insulating blue board to raise it 4". With a switch on the main line I was able to get the track up to the second level with not too much trouble. This allows me to have heavy main line with switching on the upper level. I also was able to have a two track staging yard under the town. So it is possible to have heavy main line action and switching in the 4X8 size bracket.

Hope this makes sense
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Posted by Hawks05 on Sunday, November 2, 2003 10:35 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by ndbprr

One of the best small railroads I have ever seen was published in the early 50's. I think it was also published in book from and was called, "The HO railroad that Grows". It started as a 4x8 and grew with an extension on one side and one end as I remember. It was continuous run but had quite a lot of scenery and could be done in stages. It offered a lot for the size and space limitations.


my friend just gave me that book to read. he gave me another one that he got back in like 1968 that i found 2-3 ideas from. it has 1 main outer line then has a inner line that mixes in with the outer line 2 times with the option of having a 2 track yard. i think i'm going to take ideas from the 3 layouts and try and combine some of them.

should be interesting coming up with a layout for my first time, then filling it with cars.

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